Come Into My Kitchen




Come Into My Kitchen

There are some people one brings into the heart of the home,  the kitchen,  whom one at once knows they do not belong in this room.   They are parlor people.

I invited a dear friend and her family for dinner one day.  Her son in law, a large broad shouldered man walked into our home for the first time and made his way to the kitchen where I was and announced that ‘I will make the salad!’  And with no further ado he opened cupboards and refrigerator and proceeded with the task.  He found everything with no instruction from me and I open mouthed wanted to take his hand and run away with him.  Then and there.

Those who make no effort to become part of the home’s kitchen know intuitively that it is the heart of the home and shy away from its intimacy.   Such close quarters demand something they are not equal to.  They have never known the comfort of its intimacy and must be born to it.   For some it will not be acquired in the present lifetime.  They will continue to edge toward the parlor or the formal dining room where the openness of space will somehow protect them from being suffocated by the unwelcome  proximity of an Other.

Those of us born to the kitchen know intuitively who belongs there with us.   And intuitively we know who are the parlor people when we open the door to them.   Graciously they follow us to the room that no one ever sits in comfortably.   They visit and leave promptly,  but you.. . .

Come Into My Kitchen

Come into my kitchen
by the back door.
Only dear friends are allowed to.
Others have to earn the right
by walking through the halls
to the center,
the heart of my home.
But you can come
to the back door.

I will let you in.


photo by John Holmes


5 responses to “Come Into My Kitchen”

  1. Veronica, I did not have the words yesterday to respond as I wanted but today I do. Your piece speaks powerfully of a wholeness and intimacy captured in “kitchen” and then I thought- what about those who did not have that experience? The kitchen was a source of conflict and disappointment in our house. But your idea is true. Where do we find and experience intimacy especially if we did not have the primordial kitchen experience? I fled not to the parlor and the formal inside spaces but outdoors to porches, picnic tables and woods. Your piece caused me to reflect gratefully on where I have been and where I am now. I have learned to build a kitchen in my heart where I can be at home with self and others. Thanks for always giving me so much to ponder.

  2. Lois, there has to be a guardian on the premises who shelters the kitchen experience. You were a wise one to build your own kitchen. And sometimes we have to. Thank you for commenting.

  3. Maria, And people not of the heart often pretend they are of the kitchen, but soon find their discomfort untenable. And they find their excuse quickly. Your perception is appreciated.

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